“The conditions of art should be simple. A great deal more depends upon the heart than upon the head. Appreciation of art is not secured by any elaborate scheme of learning. Art requires a good healthy atmosphere.”Oscar Wilde, “The House Beautiful” Lecture, 1882
Theodore and Flora Mander subscribed to Wilde’s ideas in this lecture, art for art’s sake, when they had Wightwick Manor built between 1887 and 1893.
It was designed by Edward Ould in the Old English style – from afar, it looks a lot older than it is!
Inside, you’ll find designs from William Morris (dreamy!), arts and crafts style and collections of Japanese and Chinese objects.
Most notable is the collection of Pre-Raphaelite art – this was primarily collected by their son, Geoffrey Mander, and his second wife Rosalie.
There are some astonishing and beautiful pieces in this house.
Geoffrey actually gave the house to the National Trust in 1937 (really, it wasn’t that old at the time!) and he and Rosalie stayed living in it, curating and collecting and opening it to visitors.